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From pew to playground

Mike Dillon, intervention strategy manager

My post is significant because it was part of the restructuring of the LEA and a completely new role. What we had before pre-dated Ofsted inspections and accountability in schools. The structure hadn't kept up with those changes.

We had too many schools found to be weak or failing. Although we were effective in supporting schools which had failed - but even that was patchy - we needed a better system of identifying which ones could fail in the fture. The first thing I had to do was put together a working group of headteachers to look at the areas of concern and put together an action plan.

The first thing to come out of that was the self-review. Someone from the church diocese had the idea. They had been working in Catholic schools and had come up with a "health checklist" of 20 questions. We realised that if we asked schools to check themselves against that list, we would know how to target our support.

Esther Leach


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